SnoPUD engineers are FINALLY going back to the drawing board.
Partially in response to negative feedback from the public on the exceedingly high impacts of its original design, SnoPUD is drastically altering several of its proposed project features.
Most notable is the omission of the dam and right abutment which was a major source of concern for project opponents. Under its new proposal, no dam would be built.
Water would still be diverted from the natural deep pool just upstream from Canyon Falls and then re-routed through a huge tunnel.
Another major design change is that the intake cavern would be mostly eliminated and the fish screens would be located further downstream.
The main reduction in negative impacts are that there will be much less rock blasting and hauling, and less chance of contamination from naturally occurring toxins. There will be no dam built on quicksand and the community beach will be spared destruction.
The preliminary design change info can be found by Clicking here.
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Fisheries Co-Manager’s Comment on Studies:
Click to Read the response of the Tulalip Tribes to SnoPUD’s refusal to conduct necessary fisheries studies.
February 8, 2014 Update:
If you’ve been wondering what’s going on with SnoPUD and FERC, the Bottom Line is that on Jan 30th FERC made its final recommendations for the different studies. SnoPUD has to do over the next year or more. Some of the high points of those recommendations. that aren’t necessarily what SnoPUD wanted, are:
* All stakeholders must be advised of preliminary study results and permitted to have input; not just agencies and tribes.
* PUD must correct their misleading photomontages to include all project features such as jib crane mounts, access roads, 6000 foot mountains in the background that were previously cropped out of the photos, etc.
* PUD will not be allowed to segregate agencies and tribes, NGO’s and the public in the aesthetics / recreation focus groups.
* PUD must include the key observation point at Lake Serene in the focus groups aesthetic and recreation studies.
* PUD must have either a state or federal geologist review the findings and conclusions from SnoPUD’s contracted geologist. (I believe this is based on the assertion from the PUD contracted geologist in December that the landslide would not likely have more major movements….and then the rest of the hill fell away in January!)
* PUD must do a traffic study in the summer, when traffic on Route 2 is at its peak.
We made a difference to FERC!!! Slogging through SnoPUD’s 622 pages wasn’t much fun, but thanks to the people who did (and who understood what they were reading), and who wrote to FERC. We should all be encouraged that we are being heard and making a difference.
Next up is the NW Power & Conservation Council’s draft of the Fish and Wildlife program. This comes out on approx. May 1st and we will find out if they agree with the over 400 recommendations send in to them last fall asking that the Skykomish River remain protected from hydro power development. After the draft comes out, there will be another public comment period.
When we read the NPCC draft, we will send out another note with suggested wording so people can send in more comments to NPCC. Writing comments does matter, even if it gets tiring, so get yourselves ready!
If you want to review the summary document, on protected rivers, from comments submitted in last fall, it is at this URL: http://www.nwcouncil.org/
With SnoPUD studies taking up the next year or so, and the NPCC process underway, the next focus is trying to influence public opinion and the PUD commissioners. Stopping this project is a long process, but it is our only hope to defeat it.
SnoPUD Dam Not Economically Feasible
Click Here for news release
Click Here for New Study on Costs and Benefits of Sunset Falls Hydro Project